We spent 7.9 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what hikers think:

9 reasons to buy

  • Numerous users, which include a seasoned footwear reviewer, were completely mesmerized by this hiking shoe’s grip performance—especially on smooth surfaces.
  • According to many wearers, the Salomon X Ultra 3 epitomizes comfort, and an expert blogger couldn’t agree more.
  • Based on a handful of reviews, this hiking shoe delivers when it comes to durability.
  • For some hikers, the X Ultra 3 has an impressive level of ground stability.
  • This Salomon footwear received great remarks from a couple of users for its true-to-size fit.
  • Shoe critics (one of them a YouTube vlogger) simply couldn’t deny the exceptional lightness of the third Salomon X Ultra.
  • The shoe’s toe box space is satisfyingly roomy, according to a small number of hikers.
  • A couple of expert reviewers commended the X Ultra 3’s highly protective toe cap.
  • After using the shoe for a considerable amount of time, one professional gear tester reported that he didn’t get any blisters at all.

1 reasons not to buy

  • Despite the convenience offered by the shoe’s quick lacing system, a hiking footwear pundit quickly wrote it off as very counterproductive. He said his last trip saw him retightening the laces (cords) almost half of the time.

Bottom line

Salomon yet again sets the bar high for its competitors with this shoe. It is a scene-stealing piece largely thanks to its overwhelming amounts of comfort and lightness. It is well loved for its durability, and the same can be said of its relentless surface traction. Were it not for a reputable reviewer lambasting its speed laces for forcing him to reconfigure them one too many times, this shoe would’ve qualified for sheer perfection. Overall, the third generation X Ultra hits the mark with its noteworthy set of features.

For more, check our guide to the best hiking shoes



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  • The Salomon X Ultra 3 bathes in the glory of its predecessor—the X Ultra 2—for possessing the features that made its older sibling great but with some welcome improvements. It is still a lightweight hiker thanks to its synthetic mesh upper. However, its stitched-on overlay covers slightly more upper area than the previous version. The engineers also found a way to make this shoe about 30 g lighter (a pair) than the X Ultra 2.
  • Lacing up with the X Ultra 3 is as speedy as before since it keeps the same Quicklace closure system that the second generation X Ultra had. This time, however, it features an additional pair of eyelets right at the collar line.
  • When it comes to cushioning, the shoe is given an EVA midsole. This cushy, shock-absorbing component is imbued with Salomon’s Advanced Chassis—a brace that maximizes mobility and makes every step responsive.
  • Salomon’s own outsole technology, the Contagrip, makes a triumphant return in the X Ultra 3. While its surface retains the multi-directional lugs that graced the outsole of the X Ultra 2, its heel part is now engineered with Descent Control technology—a feature the previous model lacked. As its name suggests, this technology gives wearers more control and secure footing while going down slippery slopes.

The Salomon X Ultra 3 is a hiking shoe catering to both male and female outdoor enthusiasts. Custom fit is primarily provided by the Quickfit lacing system. Its fifth and top-most pair of eyelets gives wearers extra lockdown security. Also, this proprietary closure system works in conjunction with yet another Salomon-owned tech called the Sensifit. This technology is embodied in the shoe’s overlay which grips the upper as more lace pressure is applied.

Contagrip, Salomon’s in-house outsole technology, supplies the X Ultra 3 with its much-needed traction. This outsole, which is a mixture of several compounds, is engineered to have zonal densities. The outer edges of the outsole are engineered to have a higher density to withstand wear and tear. The central zone of both the heel and forefoot zones, on the other hand, have a lower-density makeup for enhanced traction and flexibility.

Scattered across this grippy layer are aggressive lugs shaped like caltrops. The spiky architecture of these lugs bites into various surfaces, whether uneven or level. The Descent Control feature found on the outsole’s heel is comprised of gill-like ridges. Positioned and lined up at opposing angles, these ridges grant better overall maneuverability, particularly during descents.

The outsole also extends to the shoe’s toe box. This inconspicuous extension both reinforces the front end of the X Ultra 3 and guards against forefoot injuries.

Serving as the wearer’s primary source of cushioning and stability is the shoe’s injected EVA midsole. EVA or ethylene-vinyl acetate as the base material for this component gives the Salomon X Ultra 3 a kind of midsole that can bear considerable weight and withstand rugged use. Its tapered construction—a chunky heel transitioning to a slender forefoot zone—also allows for smoother foot rolls and toe offs.

Built into the shoe’s midsole, specifically at the heel section, is the Salomon Advanced Chassis. This additional component doubles down on what the midsole is there for, and thus contributing to the X Ultra 3’s overall stability, rebound, and shock absorption. It also gives users control when performing twisting maneuvers.

For extra underfoot comfort and support, the engineers gave this hiking shoe an Ortholite sockliner. Its cushiness is brought forth by a certain Ortholite foam while its supportive heel borders are made of EVA. Its resilient build is designed to endure stress and not wear thin over time.

With its mesh upper made of synthetic textile, the Salomon X Ultra 3 underscores lightness and breathability. It is layered with a stitched-on, synthetic coverage (overlay) for extra support and abrasion protection. The tongue and the contoured ankle collar of the shoe are padded for plush comfort. The back of the collar also has a pull tab for a speedy on and off.

Over at the shoe’s toe box is a rubberized layer which, along with the encroaching front tip of the outsole, protects hikers from bumpy hazards. A similar protective coverage is also seen at the base of the shoe’s heel.

Officially called Quicklace, the closure system of the X Ultra 3 uses sturdy cords for laces. They criss-cross through a combination of synthetic lace loops and plated eyelets and are secured using a clip mechanism made of a material resembling hard plastic. The remainder of the cords may also be tucked inside the shoe’s lace garage—a compartment akin to a stretchy pouch that is stitched onto the upper part of the tongue.

  • Salomon’s X Ultra 3 is also offered in a waterproof, Gore-Tex (GTX) variant.
Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto

Paul loves adventure. Over the past 20 years, he has climbed, hiked, and ran all over the world. He’s summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races. He has worked in the outdoor industry as a whitewater and hunting guide, gear tester, copywriter, and outfitting specialist at places like The National Outdoor Leadership School, No Barriers USA, and Sierra Trading Post. He has been quoted in NYMag, NBCNews, and Business Insider to name a few.